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Helping Families Find Their Brighter Tomorrows

June 10, 2019 07:33 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Five-year-old Ryan Bennett’s life changed when he was diagnosed with leukemia this winter.

This February, after noticing Ryan was bruising and in pain, his parents took him in to see the doctor.

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"We went down, we got the blood work done and we went straight home and waited. About an hour later they called us and said we need to get to the hospital. 'We have a room waiting for you.' We're like 'why? What?' They're like, 'we're pretty sure it's leukemia,' ” said Ryan’s mom, Mandi Bennett.

By 5:30 p.m. that day, they were given the diagnosis. The next morning, Ryan started treatment and received his first round of chemotherapy.

"Our lives evolved around cancer. It affects everything. It affects all of our children. It affects what we can and can't do," said Ryan’s dad, Richard Bennett.

Ryan has three other siblings at home that he enjoys playing with when he has time outside of the hospital.

"Play with my brothers, play hide and seek, play freeze tag," said Ryan.

On the first Tuesday of every month, they get together to play BINGO at the Brighter Tomorrows monthly meetings for families of children who are cancer survivors, or are in various stages of treatment.

While the kids play, the parents have a chance to talk with other families going through the same thing.

"It's so overwhelming and your mind automatically goes to worst-case scenarios. Meeting so many families now that have gone through it successfully has been really encouraging," said Mandi.

"I just think Brighter Tomorrows is great, because it's one thing to listen to doctors about what to expect or what we're going through, whether or not it's normal. It's another thing to meet other families that are going through it or have gone through it. Brighter Tomorrows has been great, and we look forward to all the meetings and we look forward to the fun activities, too,” said Richard.

Soon, Ryan will check back into the hospital to begin his third round of chemotherapy.

But for now, he’ll enjoy some extra time playing with his siblings.

Those who want to support Brighter Tomorrows can sign up for the "Go for Gold for Childhood Cancer Walk" on June 29. Proceeds from the walk will benefit the continued efforts of Brighter Tomorrows.

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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